No bespoke for me on this; I'm easy enough to fit OTR even that at least the first couple times bespoke is likely to come out less well than MTM. So we're talking at least $10k worth of "learning" which is way too much for me.
I went to look at some today and was told that they have gone back to St. Andrews. However one thing I noticed was that the front tab closure on the trousers is identical to the Caruso RLBL (interior button, two exterior hook/bar closures; rare to see double H/B). Also, the side tabs were identical. Obviously this means next to nothing, as RL designs the suits, but struck me as interesting.
Custom Fit fit me very well, with few mods likely needed to stock pattern. However...
How does RLPL compare in quality to competition from Zegna, Oxxford, Belvest or Isaia? I know that they are more expensive (practically Brioni prices), but I also know some of that has to be a markup due to the label.
So this weekend I ventured in to Paul Stuart in the Loop and tried on each of the models in several sizes. None fit particularly well and, in spite of doing MTM, it'll never look great if starting with a base that doesn't really work.
I then ventured into Syd Jerome down the street and found some other makers which fit much better, notably Isaia, Belvest and Zegna (which I'd remembered as fitting too tight). They also sell Oxxford, but had none to try on.
Yes, the staff was by far the most helpful there. They were quite helpful at the store near the Arc de Triomphe as well, but less conversational due to language barrier (those at St. G spoke English fluently, those at AdT a bit less so and I don't speak any French). In my experience, completely different world than St. Honore, largely because neither of those stores likely sees the same volume of tourists overwhelming staff.
Out of curiosity, which Paris store? I find the staff in the main St. Honore store a bit snippy and off-putting but found the St. Germain neighborhood store to be much, much friendlier and more helpful (it's also an incredibly cool store layout).
I think that the biggest difference between Hermes and Cartier in this regard is that Cartier's own boutiques must compete with independent authorized dealers (particularly when it comes to time pieces), who do make a practice of negotiating on price. It's probably harder to get a discount on a Cartier watch from the company's own boutique than from an independent authorized dealer, but at the end of the day sometimes they probably give in.
The CNN reporter named the store, though it wasn't Hermes. However, given the stories I've heard about what a diva she is in a retail setting, I have not an ounce of sympathy.I heard (perhaps on here?) that she threw a tantrum when Hermes in Chicago refused to open early for her and someone else told me a tale of her throwing a tantrum when a Chicago luxury car dealer refused to sell her a car for half price because she's Oprah, a situation which escalated to the owner...